Puffy patterns of mammatus clouds

Epic Mammatus

Mammatus over Lake Conway

Mammatus clouds after Friday's afternoon deluge.

Mammatus

Mammatus clouds

Out of all the cloud types, only one kind derives from the Latin term for “udder”: Mammatus clouds. And when you see them, this meteorological name makes a whole lot of sense. They billow downwards in a pattern of distinctive lumpiness that peg them as fascinating subjects to photograph. Keep tuned in to weather reports for thunderstorms, because these puffy clouds usually indicate intense storms to come and you might find a rare opportunity to capture them.

See more photos: Astounding Cloud Formations gallery | Stormscapes group

Photos from Stormlover87, Jon Wisniewski, finepixtrix, Rodtas, and Alexander Photography.